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Friday, 8 July 2011

Fabric Preparation for Printing

I find preparing fabric for printing a very boring process so I try and get lots of pieces of material done in one go.  I am lucky to have an A3 pigment printer (rather than a dye printer) which is better for printing on fabric.  This means that I can print on much larger pieces of fabric.  However, the bag I am making is not going to be very big so I am sticking to A4 size pieces of fabric.

So these are the steps I go through:
  1. Cut the white fabric down to sheets just larger than A4.
  2. Cut pieces of freezer paper* down to just larger than A4.
  3. I iron each bit of fabric first.
  4. Then I iron the freezer paper to the back of the white fabric.  I iron on both sides with the fabric side last to make sure that there are no 'bubbles'.

It is very important that the side that goes through the printer has been very well ironed so that it is firmly attached to the fabric.  When I finally use the fabric for printing, I use the rotary cutter to cut along the edge that goes through the printer to make sure that it is 'sharp'.  I also recheck that the freezer paper is firmly attached.

Always prepare at least double the amount of the material you need.  Once I get started with printing, I like to do a lot and you can never legislate for what might happen half way through a print!

* edit:  for those of you who don't know what freezer paper is, it is paper originating from the US which has a shiny side which temporarily adheres to fabric when you iron it onto the fabric.  It is available here in the UK at quilt shops, some hobby craft stores and some sewing/fabric shops.

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